Worse Than The Blues

Worse Than The Blues

Bob Dylan sang, "If my thought-dreams could be seen, they'd probably put my head in a guillotine."

Well, you should see John Fahey's thought-dreams. "All I have ever done with music," Fahey wrote in 1996, "was to depict various emotions in an organized and coherent musical language, especially hate, fear, repulsion, grief, depression, or feeling nothingness."

Fahey, who died in 2001, never sang his thought-dreams. It was guitar fingerpicking that brought him fame. A new biography, Dance of Death: The Life of John Fahey, American Guitarist (Chicago Review Press), is a balanced look at both: Fahey's music and his mind. Author...